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   1. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 20, 2007 at 11:20 PM (#2534184)
Andere:

Big difference is that this year the Cubs manager is not an enabler for hypersensitive players. Lou has EXPECTATIONS.

Earlier today someone threw out a number of 10 wins being the difference in having Lou as manager versus Yost. retro thought that was unreasonably high.

Personally, and having sifted through the game log, will state that ten is about right. I won't bore everyone with the methodology as it incorporates more than just in-game tactics. For example, the bullpen meltdown of late July through August can be directly tied to Yost's mismanagement of the staff so I attribute several losses to that element alone. And I was conservative. Honest.

Anyway, ten wins is about right. Lou is worth about ten wins to the Cubs when compared to his counterpart in Milwaukee.

Goodness.
   2. Roger Cedeno's Spleen Posted: September 21, 2007 at 12:30 AM (#2534263)
The warmest corpse did win the World Series last year...
   3. Dan Contilli Posted: September 21, 2007 at 11:56 AM (#2535013)
The warmest corpse did win the World Series last year.


That's outrageously incorrect. The Cardinals squeeked into the playoffs last year and were the beneficiaries of the Jeff Weaver Revival Tour. I'd hardly say they were the warmest corpse. If the Tigers didn't completely forget how to throw the ball around the diamond, they would have at least won a few games and maybe the series. We'll never know since they completely folded defensively, but I wouldn't say that the Cards won because they were the warmest corpse. They won because their pitching produced. Most of that pitching is gone or hurt this year and they're 10 games under .500. Not a suprise.
   4. CFiJ Posted: September 21, 2007 at 12:41 PM (#2535040)
I will maintain to my dying day that the only reason the Cubs blew that lead in 2004 was because they ran out of gas. Which is not to say that the team wasn't unlikable, nor that Baker didn't make some moronic moves, and as I recall Latroy Hawkins sucked as the closer, as is his wont. But all that meant was that the Cubs were an 85-87 win team. With all the make-up games they had, they finished season playing 24 games in a row. Twenty games in twenty days isn't unusual in the middle of the season when the team is up and running at full speed. But 24 games in 24 days in September/October will kill any team. The reason they gave up the Wild Card is because they were dog-tired.
   5. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 21, 2007 at 12:46 PM (#2535045)
My friend bet me that if the Cubs made the World Series, I'd have to buy him a MLB Jersey of his choosing. And if they didn't, he'd have to buy me a jersey.
   6. CFiJ Posted: September 21, 2007 at 12:47 PM (#2535047)
Also, as you can see here, during that stretch of <s>24</s> 25 games in 24 days, they had two 10-inning games, one 11-inning game, and three 12-inning games. You can see it. They are in good position, winning lots of games through most of September, and then on Sept. 25 they just hit the wall.
   7. Stinky the Cat Posted: September 21, 2007 at 12:53 PM (#2535050)
What happened in 2004 WILL NOT happen this year. Because luckily, we do not play a team like the Braves. We however do play Pitt, and they could possibly play spoiler to other playoff contenders including us. Chicago will win the division since the Brew Crew is playing a very strong San Diego and Atlanta ball clubs.
   8. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: September 21, 2007 at 01:06 PM (#2535062)
Nothing ever seemed so wildly improbable yet inevitable as the collapse of 2004. That team lost games in spectacular fashion.

To avoid the same fatigue issues, the 2007 Cubs should sit their starting catcher more often.
   9. Spahn Insane Posted: September 21, 2007 at 01:09 PM (#2535063)
Earlier today someone threw out a number of 10 wins being the difference in having Lou as manager versus Yost. retro thought that was unreasonably high.

In fairness to me, I said "I'm not *sure* it's that high" (I'm open to persuasion as to whether it's "reasonable"--just seems like a lot. That'll be almost 15 percent of the Central winner's win total.), and acknowledged that Piniella vs. Yost was a significant advantage for the Cubs.

What happened in 2004 WILL NOT happen this year. Because luckily, we do not play a team like the Braves.

The Cubs' playing the Braves had nothing to do with the '04 collapse. That was the last series of the year, and the Cubs were already effectively finished in the WC race. (They *were* mathematically eliminated during that series, but it was the Mets and Reds series that killed their chances. With the Astros' hot streak, they could've swept the Braves and it wouldn't have mattered, as they finished three back [and they won one game in the Braves series].)

That said, I like this team's chances of not tanking, in large part because of Piniella's apparent ability to demand results of his players (unlike Baker) while not destroying their egos (like Baylor did). They could fall apart because they aren't a great team, and such teams are prone to bad stretches. (This team's not nearly as talented as the '04 team that nosedived at the end.) And while the Brewers have played well in September, I don't see them reeling off a megastreak like the Astros did in '04.
   10. Spahn Insane Posted: September 21, 2007 at 01:23 PM (#2535081)
And I'm nervous about the Pirates series in part because of the three lefty opposing starters, including Cub-killer Zach Duke. As I pointed out elsewhere, though, Duke did most of his Cub-killing before he apparently got the Oliver Perez treatment from the Pirates' ever-brilliant player development/maintenance process, and his numbers this year are just awful. The 3-7 W-L record and 5.70 ERA are the *good* parts of his stat line. (Well, OK, his walk rate's good, but he's allowed 144 hits in 96 innings, with only 33 Ks. The Cubs do well against pitchers like that--they don't draw walks anyway, so that advantage for Duke is neutralized, and they're pretty good at putting the ball in play.)
   11. Neil M Posted: September 21, 2007 at 09:36 PM (#2536088)
But 24 games in 24 days in September/October will kill any team.

This year's Cubs just finished a stretch of 24 games in 23 games. They're not dead yet.
   12. Meatwad Posted: September 22, 2007 at 04:21 AM (#2537261)
dont forget the cubs still have one more off day this year
   13. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: September 22, 2007 at 04:53 AM (#2537352)
Nothing ever seemed so wildly improbable yet inevitable as the collapse of 2004. That team lost games in spectacular fashion.


I agree. The last few weeks featured game chatters where we talked about how the Cubs would blow it. We'd start with a look at BPro's Playoff Odds Report, and talk about how this Cubs team was among the 35% that wouldn't make it, then it just seemed to happen as if we were either prophetic or responsible for it.

Piniella has his faults, but I don't see any cases of Winburglary other than the bullpen issues early in the season, and even those aren't that clear.

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